How Product Warrantee Works

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Generally a guarantee or warranty is an agreement from the retailer or manufacturer that they will repair or replace an item, or give you a refund if something goes wrong within a reasonable time after you buy it. In New Zealand, consumer guarantees are set out in the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA).

Consumer guarantees give you rights against a manufacturer or importer as well as the supplier or retailer if your products don’t meet any of the CGA consumer guarantees. These rights include the right to expect that your purchase will last for a reasonable amount of time, as long as you don’t misuse the products. This period may last longer than the manufacturer’s warranty for larger electrical appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers.

These guarantees apply whether or not you have an express manufacturer’s warranty (or it has expired) or an extended warranty from the retailer. Again, the supplier will usually sort out any issues directly with the manufacturer, unless you bought directly from the manufacturer or importer.

For replacement goods your consumer rights start all over from the date of replacement.

Extended warranties

An extended warranty is really like insurance that you buy from the shop to give you extra protection.

You may also be covered under your home and contents insurance, or you may replace the item before the extended warranty ends.

Extended warranties are offered on a huge range of products, especially electronic products. Under an extended warranty, the warrantor agrees to remedy any specified problems with a product for a certain amount of time after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. You may even get a new replacement immediately.

An extended warranty may be a good option in limited situations, including:

  • if the product is something that you need continuously and you don’t want to wait for repairs
  • for commercial goods, since they are not covered by the CGA
  • if it applies to damage you caused accidentally (home and contents insurance may provide cover so check this first).

Read the terms and conditions carefully to check it gives you the protection you need. If you claim on an extended warranty it expires and you have to get a new one if you wish to do so.

Manufacturers’ warranties

Manufacturers’ warranties are in writing and guarantee that they will repair or replace faulty products for a set period. This is useful when the supplier has gone out of business. Usually the supplier will liaise with the manufacturer. If the manufacturer does not follow the terms of their warranty, you can claim for compensation. If you claim on the manufacturer’s warranty and your products are replaced, you may still receive a new warranty on the replacement products.

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